Bottle's history began in the long and proud reign of Queen
Victoria in the small crofters' village of Torphins near
Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland. Three sons named
Charles, David and Gordon were born to local shoemaker,
James Graham. All three boys left home for the port of Aberdeen
seeking work. While the blending industry was thriving,
the three brothers learned about the industry and started
their own business. The first Graham office was located
in the heart of Aberdeen's commercial quarter on Union Street.
Over the years, the brothers became known for blending another
fine, potent drink. They were encouraged and supported by
those who had experienced the fruits of their labours to
launch this new product - Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky
which was established in 1879.
In 1898, Scotland's highest profile blending company, Paterson's,
collapsed. This misfortune brought upon an abrupt halt to
the soaring whisky boom and for this reason along with the
other associated risks involved, the Graham brothers never
invested in a distillery of their own.
Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, the Graham's
unique German made black bottle needed to be replaced by
a green glass version which is still used today. Despite
this change, the bottle retained its unique 'pot still'
By 1926, all three founding brothers had passed away and
Charles' wife, Ann-Jane Graham was left in charge. The reign
of the "Granny Graham" had begun. However, since
there were no male heirs to the Black Bottle business, Granny
persuaded her nephew to change his name from Graham Horne
to Graham Charles Innes Graham following the death of his
Tragedy struck in 1951 when fire burned down the Market
Street offices taking away with it original recipes and
all company records and history. Gordon Graham was the last
of the family to work from the company now named Gordon
Graham & Co. He had to learn the company from the ground
Partly due to the duties paid on Granny Graham's death in
1958 and the due to the lack of knowledge of the true value
of the stock held, Gordon Graham & Co. lost its prized
independence. In 1964, the stock was sold off and the good
name of Bottle was sold to Long John - another spirit manufacturer.
This sale sadly saw the end of the quality product Black
Bottle had become.
The purchase of Black Bottle in 1990 by Allied Distillers
resulted in a dramatic turnaround. Although it took five
years, Black Bottle was turned back into the fine dram it
once was. It was restored back to its former glory with
an injection of modern Islay malts which gave back its chewy,
malty taste which defined it over 100 years ago.
This smooth and distinctive Scotch Whisky, carefully blended
by master craftsmen, each with a lifetime’s experience
in the Scotch Whisky industry, uses only the finest grain
and malt whiskies, including all of the single malts from
Scotland’s most famous whisky producing island, Islay.
With the return of Black Bottle's original taste, it had
been reinvigorated with a smart new look that remembers
the early bottles, yet also shows the class of the whisky
within. Black Bottle has finally and once again returned
as the pillar of good taste the Grahams began in 1881.